Does Parkinson's Disease Qualify for Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does grant benefits for people who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD) under certain conditions. To qualify for benefits, you must meet the criteria established by the SSA for parkinsonism, or Parkinsonian syndrome—the collective term for the various symptoms commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative condition caused by the production of an abnormal protein called alpha-synuclein. This protein disrupts the normal production of dopamine, a chemical that makes smooth muscle movement possible. The condition begins with the resting tremors that Parkinson’s is known for, but can also lead to:
· Difficulties with movement
· Trouble standing
· Lack of coordination
As these symptoms progress, it becomes increasingly difficult to work or lead a normal life.
The symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease are referred to as Parkinsonian syndrome, which are generally the result of classic Parkinson’s. However, some conditions can lead to similar symptoms, such as brain trauma, strokes and brain infections.
What Is Required to get Disability Benefits for Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinsonian Syndrome?
There are two ways to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits when you suffer from Parkinsonian syndrome:
· Problems with controlled movement of two or more extremities that lead to extreme limitation, such as the inability to stand, walk or use your upper extremities.
· Significant physical limitations and mental limitations, such as understanding, remembering, interacting, concentrating, etc.
What if You Don’t Meet the SSA Requirements, but Still Struggle With Limitations Due to Parkinson’s?
Although the simplest way to get SSD benefits with Parkinson’s is to meet the requirements of the SSA, it is still possible to get benefits if your condition makes it difficult or impossible to work. The SSA will evaluate your physical and mental limitations and determine what, if any, work you can still do and offer benefits based on this determination.
If you have applied for SSD benefits and been denied, please contact us to discuss the possibility of an appeal.